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JUDICIAL REVIEW AND STATUTORY APPEAL - Stay pending - Production and inspection of documents

Tuesday, August 10, 2021 @ 6:05 AM  

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Motion by the Minister of Health of British Columbia for leave to appeal a production order and a stay of the order pending the appeal. The respondent pharmacy had applied for judicial review of two decisions of the Minister of Health. The first decision required the pharmacy to repay $1,135,989 to the Minister after an audit. The second decision denied the pharmacy’s application for enrollment as a provider under the Pharmaceutical Services Act. During the hearing of the petition, the pharmacy successfully applied for a production of documents relied on by the Minister in making the decisions.

HELD: Motion allowed in part. The order was not primarily evidentiary or procedural as it imposed a substantial obligation on the Minister to locate and produce information and would not be subsumed in the judgment on judicial review. As the order was not a limited appeal order, an appeal lay as of right and leave to appeal was not required. There was a prima facie meritorious appeal. Irreparable harm would be occasioned if a stay was not granted as the Minister might be unable to recover the significant administrative costs that would be incurred in collecting the documents and the appeal would become moot. The balance of convenience favoured granting the stay.

Eastside Pharmacy Ltd. v. British Columbia (Minister of Health), [2021] B.C.J. No. 1532, British Columbia Court of Appeal, P.M. Willcock J.A., July 14, 2021. Digest No. TLD-August92021004